Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. Some people are more vulnerable to this illness than others, and this includes people with complex health conditions and disabilities. It is important that everyone can access information about COVID-19 so they know how to be safe and look after themselves if they are unwell.
Government and NHS guidance
You can find the most up to date key information about Coronavirus / COVID-19 on the NHS website.
The latest Government guidance about Coronavirus / COVID-19, including what to do if someone in your household is unwell, what social distancing means and general advice, is on the Government website.
Government Guidance for people with complex disabilities, autism and learning disabilities
The Government has provided additional guidance about individuals who have complex underlying health conditions and are required to self-isolate for 12 weeks. There have been some recent changes to the advice about hospital visiting and the adjustment of rules about exercise for people who are autistic and or have a learning disability.
The Institute of Social Care Excellence has produced guidance for individuals who are autistic and or have a learning disability, their families, social care professionals and carer workers, including:
- Key resources like hospital passports & Easy Read information about visiting hospital
- Tips for contingency care planning
- Advice for supporting people to understand COVID-19
You can access this guidance here https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/learning-disabilities-autism
Support for disabled children, young people and their families
The Government has put together key information and resources for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This includes support for home schooling.
The Disabled Children’s Partnership has collected resources on this webpage from many different charities and organisation to support disabled children and their families.
A website called Sense has online play toolkits, videos and resources for children who are deafblind and have complex disabilities to keep active and engaged at home.
Accessible information about Coronavirus
There is a lot of new information every day in the news about Coronavirus and it can be confusing. This section collects together accessible information about COVID-19 for people who require alternative formats and accessible resources.
For people who have a learning disability
Learning Disability England have put together the important information about Coronavirus / COVID-19 and have posters, Easy Read guides and key links which will be regularly updated.
Mencap have also produced an Easy Read guide to Coronavirus. This guide explains all about Coronavirus / COVID-19 in clear short sentences with pictures to explain the important information.
British Sign Language
Sign Health has produced videos with information about Coronavirus / COVID-19 in British Sign Language.
- What is Coronavirus (BSL video)
- What are the symptoms of Coronavirus (BSL video)
- How do I avoid getting sick & spreading Coronavirus (BSL video)
There is now a BSL version of the letter which the Prime Minister sent to all households about Coronavirus.
The daily press conference from the Prime Minister should now have a British Sign Language interpreter on the BBC news, but if you miss this broadcast Sign Health are producing a daily update in British Sign Language on their website.
Advice from other organisations for Disabled people and their families
Support for visually impaired people
RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) have put together key information for people who are blind or visually impaired.
Information for autistic people and families
The National Autistic Society have created an online resource hub which contains information for autistic people and their families.
Support for mental health and well-being
All of the news and information about coronavirus can be overwhelming. It is important to look after everyone’s mental health as well as physical health.
Mind have put together some really good resources on mental health. This includes a checklist about ways to avoid stress and stay healthy.
Support for Carers
Carers UK have written some resources specifically aimed at Carers, which you can find on their website.
Citizen’s Advice have put together a page with information on Coronavirus and paying rent, bills and benefits.